BWI condemns state harassment of Thai labour leaders

(Photo: Associated Press)

The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) joins different trade unions, social movements, political parties and other non-government organisations in the region in condemning the Thai government’s harassment of Building and Wood Industrial Council of Thailand (BWICT) leader Tanaporn Wijan and trade union leaders Suthila Leunkam, Sriprai Nonsee, and Sia Jampathong for exercising their right to free speech and freedom of association and assembly.


According to numerous reports, the said trade union leaders were subjected to legal intimidation and police harassment as a result of their work organising pro-democracy rallies in the country. It is part of a large-scale state assault against Thai democracy protesters who took to the streets to protest the government’s mishandled pandemic response and accusations of corruption regarding the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. 

BWI condemns the reported arbitrary arrests, detentions without due process, and the criminalisation of pro-democracy activities by Thai authorities. We call on Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha to respect human and labour rights, especially the right to free speech and association and the freedom of assembly.

BWI also calls on the Thai government to take full responsibility for the violence and abuse suffered by democracy activists and trade unionists, own up to its inept and corrupt management of the pandemic, and heed the Thai people’s demands for peaceful and just resolution of the crisis.

Express your support. Sign the joint statement.